Ambivalently Married

Today I will have been married for twenty years. Some of those twenty years have been happy, some unhappy, some hard some easy. Some of the time I haven’t wanted to be married.

When we got married I was not quite 21 and my husband not quite 25, babies by todays standards. We spent 9 months as a couple then baby one arrived and we became a family with all the issues that go with parenting.

We’ve had some tough times. A brother being diagnosed with cancer, an unplanned pregnancy, a child being diagnosed with a severe vision impairment, losing a brother to cancer, losing a 6 year old nephew to a swimming pool, my mental and physical health break down, and lastly two more children being diagnosed with the genetic vision impairment.

We’ve had some wonderful times. Children being born and growing into wonderful little people, through surly teenagers and into great young adults. Holidays camping in some sublime parts of Australia. The thrill of planting our own veggie garden and watching our own chooks fluff around our own yard, well ours and the bank.

We’ve fought, we’ve made up. We’ve wandered apart and come back together.

All up, marriage is hard. It doesn’t just work and I can’t honestly say we will make another twenty years, or even twelve months. Dealing with the conflicts and issues of sharing my life with another person, whose views are frequently poles apart from mine as helped shape me into the woman I am, for better or worse.

Although I can’t say I’ve been happily married for twenty years I can say I’m glad I’ve made an effort to stay married.

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